You are met with the sound of sirens and a bloody phone that no one can answer as you step into the “Silent Hill” inspired madness of Ironwood Hills. On a cold and rainy weekend in June over 160 of our beloved Peas took the rickety ol’ Travel Agency bus on a dark and dreary adventure in true MadPea style! We were off to the amazing land of Ironwood Hills to don our flashlights (which I’m fairly sure had limited battery life!) and attempt to find the lost brothers that managed to break free from somewhere near the depths of Hell in order to plague this already eerie existence that was created by Zeke and Cyrus Knight.
In true fashion, this poor…innocent…wide-eyed-wanderer of a writer was tossed amidst the fray and left to brave the poor cold alone while her fellow MadPea crew members
cackled from the shadows maliciously….err…I mean rooted her on with tons of care and support as she made her way through the hauntingly beautiful and utterly spine tingling surrounding of Ironwood Hills. (For future reference? Just call her Guinea Pig….or Glutton for Punishment. Either seems to work.) The quest began at a small building that is true to the theatrics it holds and waiting in the wings is the first of a number of clues that clutched at the hunt-goers senses and tossed them into the madness.
Always madness. One of these days I’d like a cake-eating ExPEAdition…just saying!
The further that we went into the depths of Ironwood, the more you could actually -feel- yourself going the way of that blasted cuckoo that flew over the nest. Between the haunting visage of spirits, the remains of the tortured and terrorized victims, and the almost icy stark contrast of innocence that you question whether or not -truly- exists or if your mind is laughing cruelly at your descent, you feel yourself in that clutching downward spiral that has your blood running cold and your breath catching within your chest.
Throughout the entire hunt we were met with a cast of truly amazing (yet completely deranged) characters that interact and truly add to the experience. Admittedly one of my favorite moments was a completely
creepy cheeky ventriloquist dummy that hissed out the ever-popular “Helllllllllllloooo Clariiiiiiiiiice”. So…of course being the hospitable Pea that I was….I sat down for a small respite of Fava Beans and a nice Chianti before carrying on with the hunt. Sadly…I didn’t catch the Pinnochian fellow’s name and after a few mentions of kerosene and lit matches he heartbreakingly didn’t find my company as jovial.
That’s neither here nor there though…
The hunt continued, and one by one we were led through the amazing creation that is Ironwood Hills to discover every haunted patch of forest, every dilapidated carnival game, every deceptively innocent bleating goat, every twisting winding road that feels like it should be named Path to Purgatory, and then into the bowels of Hell itself it would seem. Somehow through all of the mind-bending fog that this hunt entailed we -did- finally find all of the lost psychotic Jesters that had somehow escaped Kiana’s padded room and set upon the task of returning them.
But of course, there is no MadPea inspired headtrip that would be fulfilled without a suffocating immersion into the nearest Asylum. Ironwood Hills is no exception. Just when you feel the exhileration of nearly the completion of your quest, you are met with one of the maddened owners of Ironwood. You can -feel- the silent maniacal judgement looming down as he welcomes you to what can only be described as the epicenter from which all the Ironwood Hills madness spawns. This was one Jester….or in this case… Jestyr that -no one- wanted to find. The magnetic pull towards the Asylum was painfully potent but so was the realization that…in the words of the Eagles…”We could check out any time we liked…but we could never leave.”
psychotic innocent writer resisted the call to the straitjacket.
In the end all of our beloved Peas made it out alive (As far as we know!), the Jesters were all returned to Kiana’s warped harem of minions, and the cohabitants of Ironwood Hills had the brilliant presence to wrap our community in their amazingly landscaped yet twisted shadows and leave us better off on the other side. Hunt or no, there are so many amazing aspects of Ironwood Hills to get immersed in and to find yourself being chilled and exhilarated by that this should be on everyone’s personal destination guide. Another successful ExPEAdition done with no casualties and another brilliant location that is added to the amazing MadPea community’s treasure box of “must see’s”.
That being said…now that we’ve all recovered from the Helter Skelter that was our weekend with the amazing cast of crazies at Ironwood Hills…MadPea sends out the biggest basket of “Thank You” bloody meat cleavers, rusty guillotines, and pink fluffy bunnies to our awesome hosts Zeke and Cyrus and their deviant clan for welcoming our MadPea family into their deranged arms!
And for those of you that love seeing how brilliant the Queen Pea’s mind is when it comes to detail…it wasn’t just a proverbial hint by names alone. Take a glimpse into how well this was thought out!
Every other Saturday. Let MadPea explore, introduce, interject, and invade with these brilliant ExPEAditions. Trust me…you don’t want to be on the outside looking in!
(Mainly because axe-murderers are usually on the outside. We’ve all seen the horror movies.)
See you in two weeks!